This review implements the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s instructions to review individual Fish and Wildlife Program projects within the Umatilla River together as a comprehensive package where the interrelationships among the individual projects would be clarified and the measures for effectiveness evaluated. To facilitate the review, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) prepared: Umatilla Projects Review: A presentation of the multiple Component Umatilla Basin Fisheries Restoration Program to address specific questioned raised in the 2006 proposal review. This document and a site visit to the Umatilla Basin on May 16-17, 2007 provided the information the ISRP used in this evaluation of the Umatilla subbasin projects. The ISRP found this review process to be effective and efficient, and recommends the procedure be adopted for similar watershed-scale efforts.
The ISRP organized projects into Flow Enhancement and Passage, Habitat Enhancement, and Artificial and Natural Production categories that reflect a project's primary objectives and tasks, and provide a logical approach to evaluation of project effectiveness. This report provides the ISRP's detailed findings.
Generally, the ISRP found that the Umatilla Basin Fisheries Restoration Program is progressing. Phase I and II of the water exchange program is in place; irrigation diversions have been upgraded to provide passage of both adults and juveniles; habitats have received large-wood additions and riparian zone fencing; a hatchery and satellite facilities for holding and acclimating hatchery fish have been constructed; and spring Chinook, fall Chinook, and coho salmon have been reintroduced into the watershed where they had been extirpated for many years. Some fish are returning to the river, a fishery has developed, and cooperation with landowners is improving. The program, however, has not achieved its stated salmon and steelhead escapement and harvest goals.